"Comedy always works best when it is mean-spirited" - John Cleese
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Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Use Your Loaf!
The American artist Andy Warhol is best remembered for saying "everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes". Fame is fleeting; infamy lasts forever. And the British will forever be infamous for ruining our daily bread.
Use or Abuse?
In cockney rhyming slang a "loaf" is a loaf of bread: head. The expression "use your loaf" means "think about it". In 1961 British scientists at Chorleywood, in Hertfordshire, England thought about it. What they came up with was, unfortunately, a way to "abuse your loaf".
Buck and Dough
The result of their thinking was a new, super-fast, very cheap way of making bread - nasty bread. Bread made by the Chorleywood process now represents 80% of the bread sold in Britain. Production has spread around the world as bread factories (we used to call them bakeries - remember?) adopt this easy way to make a fast loaf and a fast buck.
Use Your Wonderloaf
I grew up eating that bread, you are probably very familiar with it too. Bread made by the Chorleywood process is white, light, soft and stays fresh for several days. Sounds good so far doesn't it? But when you understand what goes into Chorleywood Bread you may never want to eat it again.
The Proof is in the Eating
Traditional bread is made very slowly. Dough is mixed with yeast and allowed to "proof" (i.e. rise slowly). It is then kneaded thoroughly to develop gluten from the natural wheat protein and give the bread its body.
Fat and Full of Wind
Chorleywood bread, on the other hand, can be made with poor quality, low protein wheat. Very high speed mixers are used to introduce as much air into the dough as possible. Very little gluten will be generated (because of the low protein content of the wheat) so the body of the bread is maintained using hard fat, large quantities of yeast and chemical additives.
Hard to Digest
Incidentally, since this wonderful new "bread" was introduced there has been a marked increase in the number of cases of people who are incapable of digesting bread. Coincidence?
Labels: Chorleywood Bread
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